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Massena Central School’s APPR approved by state Education Department

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MASSENA - The Massena Central School District has received word their Annual Professional Performance Review Plan, also known as their teacher evaluation plan, was approved by the state Education Department, allowing them to beat the state deadline of Jan. 17 for having the document approved.

Superintendent Roger B. Clough II said they were notified by SED Commissioner Dr. John B. King Jr. that the district’s APPR submission met the criteria outlined in Education Law and was approved for the 2012-13 school year.

Mr. Clough said they had expected to have their plan approved by the deadline following the submission of their modified plan to SED in early January.

“The SED representative had told us to expect a quick turnaround and not to worry that our plan would somehow miss the deadline,” Mr. Clough said Wednesday, noting they had originally submitted their plan in early November, “but a backlog of approval requests evidently slowed the state’s review process. The state Education Department contacted us on Friday, December 21 requesting minor changes in language.”

That conversation was brief and indicated there were very few changes to make, according to the superintendent.

“We had a five-minute phone call on the 21st to make certain we added certain words in and fixed a couple of expressions,” Mr. Clough said.

Because the changes were requested and made over the Christmas break, he said they had to wait until everyone returned to school to get the proper signatures and resubmit it to the state Education Department.

“Unfortunately, that was the last day of school before the Christmas break. We immediately made the changes, but were too late to catch everyone who needed to sign the document. We had to wait until our staff returned after New Year’s to collect the required signatures,” he said.

Their modified plan was submitted on Jan. 3 and now they have approval to implement it in the district.

“We are pleased to have the official notification that all is set and we can move ahead implementing this plan,” Mr. Clough said.

The district and Massena Federation of Teachers agreed on the APPR on Feb. 16 and the board of education approved it that night.

Not meeting the Jan. 17 deadline could have meant the loss of extra state aid for the district.

Districts without an approved plan by the deadline would have forfeited state aid in an amount equal to the increase between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years,” according to Education Department spokeswoman Antonia Valentine.

That amount varies from district to district based on formulas and claims received.

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